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January 25, 1965

Spinal Cord Hypothermia Useful in Spasticity

JAMA. 1965;191(4):38-40. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03080040112057

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A New York surgeon has found that spinal cord hypothermia appears to be a useful tool in the treatment of the spasticity and rigidity of cerebral palsy. Juan Negrin, Jr., MD, told the 32nd annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons that muscular spasticity and rigidity were relieved after lowering the temperature of intracranial structures or the spinal cord while the rest of the body remained normothermic.

Negrin, of the Neurosurgical Service at Lenox Hill Hospital, New York, has applied local spinal cord hypothermia to only eight patients. All had had intensive physiotherapy and medication, but remained practically bedridden. Following therapy, all were significantly improved—some for as long as three and four years.

The cerebral palsy patients ranged in age from 7 to 19 years. Five were mentally retarded while three were normal in this respect. The first patient was treated in early 1960 and remains improved. Several

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